GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Green Bay Packers kick returner Ty Montgomery's decision to return a kickoff late in the fourth quarter on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams may have cost the team a win.
With 2:05 left in the game, Montgomery took the kickoff out of the end zone and fumbled, giving the ball back to the Rams instead of putting it in the hands of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Rams then ran out the clock and to remain undefeated with a 29-27 win.
Montgomery admitted on Monday that he made a mistake by taking the ball out. Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy said he was told to take the touchback.
"I made a split second decision on, I don't know if this is going to land on the goal line, so I'm not going to take a knee on the goal line or the half yard line and take a chance at putting the game in the refs' hands. Unfortunately I ended up fumbling the football. And I don't think we would be having this conversation if I didn't fumble the football, because you know how good our two-minute offense is, but I've never been a guy to completely disobey what I'm being told. I think you can ask a lot of guys in the locker room, that's not what I do. That's not the kind of man I am. That's not the kind of person I am.
"No one ever said anything to me, no one ever came to me, so I am thoroughly disappointed in the speculation and just the backlash that I have to deal with now. Because now we are talking about my character. We are not even talking about the fumble anymore, we're talking about my character. We're talking about the reasons why I did what I did, and I am not OK with that.," Montgomery said at his locker.
Did Ty Montgomery disobey coaches?
Montgomery declined to talk to the media after the game. However, his teammates did. NFL Network's Michael Silver reported Monday morning that an anonymous Packers player thought Montgomery decided to disobey coaches and return the kickoff after being benched on the previous series.
"According to more than a half dozen Packers players and coaches who witnessed it, Montgomery had thrown a tantrum of his own on Green Bay's previous offensive series, becoming noticeably enraged on the sideline after being removed from the game," Silver wrote on NFL.com. "At least one player believed there was carryover from that incident to Montgomery's decision to disregard his coaches' instruction and return the kickoff."
Montgomery admitted to being frustrated after a pass to him in the fourth quarter fell incomplete. Silver reported that multiple Packers players and coaches told him that Montgomery threw a "tantrum."
"I was frustrated. I'm not the only player that's been frustrated. I've never fought anyone on the sideline. I've never cursed out my teammates. I don't curse out coaches -- and I've seen some of those things. I've even seen a couple of coaches fight. That's not what I do. However, I got a little frustrated. I wanted to make a play. I wasn't playing very much and I wasn't able to make a play and I was frustrated about that," Montgomery said.
"I don't fully understand what my role is right now, what I'm supposed to be doing, how I'm supposed to help this team," he continued, "and it's frustrating when I want to help the team and I get limited opportunities and it didn't happen on that play. I came off frustrated about it, and I don't know if you guys have ever been so frustrated with something you walk into a room, you close a door, you scream, and then you walk back out and then you deal with your life and you move on. That's what happened," Montgomery said.
Montgomery told the media that he hoped the player who anonymously called him out would come and talk to him and keep it in-house.
"I've never been one to throw teammates under the bus. You guys know. You guys never ask me any questions about teammates. I always defect it. I don't like it. So it's very disappointing, especially as a guy that's jeopardized the length of his career, the amount of money he can make in his career in the middle of a season, being asked to do multiple things all the time," he said. "The most disappointing fact is now that it is inside. It's tough for me to trust anyone now, guys talking about how they can trust me. But it's tough for me to trust anyone now."
The social media backlash has been immense and he even has received threats.
"People are sending messages to my wife. People are making comments on posts about my son. I'm getting phone calls, people offering their houses to stay because apparently people are making threats online. I'm thoroughly pissed off at the state of humanity right now," Montgomery said.